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I usually buy packs of dried beans (I prefer them to tinned, there's less salt and they're cheaper) But having to soak them overnight and then cook them for an hour, is time consuming. Can you cook a big batch then freeze them in portions to be defrosted when you need them?
Also how long could you keep them in the fridge after being cooked?
Beans (and chickpeas and other big pulses) freeze beautifully and I've done it for years... TIP.. after cooking drain them really, really well in a colander and allow to go quite cold and as dry as possible. Then spread them out in a big freezer bag and lay the bag flat on a tray in your freezer. When they're frozen you give the bag a bit of a shake/bash and they should separate and not be stuck together in clumps. Then you can use them like frozen peas as necessary. One 500g bag of dried beans makes about 1.3kgs of cooked beans so they last ages.
In the fridge I wouldn't keep them more than three or four days and then heat them up well before using.
When you defrost them can you eat them straight away cold in salads etc, or do they have to be re heated? I'm a real food novice and I know I ask the simplest of questions, but I have no idea. I'm used to eating convenience foods.
I find frozen beans take very little time to defrost and I eat them cold with no adverse effects (so far!). I'll sometimes make a salad to bring to work, throw on a handful or two of frozen mixed beans and, by the time lunchtime comes around, they're great. There's nothing in a bean to go 'off' really....
Well done for getting cooking! So much more interesting than convenience foods.
Thanks. I'm really enjoying cooking for myself.
Thanks for the tip on how to freeze beans without having them clump together! I should have been able to think of this as well. Thanks a bunch! I am going to be doing that from now on.